Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Research Paper
  • Published:

Enzymatic Reactions in Liquid and Solid Paraffins: Application for Enzyme–Based Temperature Abuse Sensors


Enzymatic reactions are orders of magnitude faster in liquid paraffins than in solid ones. For example, horseradish peroxidase oxidizes p–anisidine in liquid hexadecane or pentadecane several million fold faster than in the solid hydrocarbons. This effect can be used to design a simple enzymatic sensor for temperature abuse of foods, pharmaceuticals and other thermolabile products.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Van Arsdel, W.B., Copley, M.J., and Olson, R.L. (eds.) 1969. Quality and Stability of Frozen Foods. Wiley Interscience, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Fennema, O.R., Powrie, W.D., and Marth, E.H. 1973. Low Temperature Preservation of Foods and Living Matter. Marcel Dekker, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Jul, M. 1984. The Quality of Frozen Foods, p. 245–252. Academic Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Olley, J. 1976. Temperature indicators, temperature integraters, temperature function integrators and the food spoilage chain. Bull. Int. Inst. Refrig. (Annexe 1976-1), 125–132.

  5. Byrne, C.H. 1976. Temperature indicators—the state of the art. Food Technol. 30(6):66–68.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Klibanov, A.M. 1986. Enzymes work in organic solvents. ChemTech 16(6):354–359.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Cesti, P., Zaks, A., and Klibanov, A.M. 1985. Preparative regioselective acylation of glycols by enzymatic transesterification in organic solvents. Appl. Biochem. Biotechnol. 11:401–407.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Kazandjian, R.Z. and Klibanov, A.M. 1985. Regioselective oxidation of phenols catalyzed by polyphenol oxidase in chloroform. J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 107:5448–5450.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Kirchner, G., Scollar, M.P., and Klibanov, A.M. 1985. Resolution of racemic mixtures via lipase catalysis in organic solvents. J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 107:7072–7076.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Kazandjian, R.Z., Dordick, J.S., and Klibanov, A.M. 1986. Enzymatic analyses in organic solvents. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 28:417–421.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Dixon, M. and Webb, E.C. 1979. Enzymes, 3rd edition, p. 92–93. Academic Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Weast, R.C., Ed. 1979. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 60th edition. Section C. CRC Press. Boca Raton, FL.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Hammond, D.A., Karel, M., Klibanov, A.M., and Krukonis, V.J. 1985. Enzymatic reactions in supercritical gases. Appl. Biochem. Biotechnol. 11:393–400.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Schumb, W.C., Satterfield, C.N., and Wentworth, R.L. 1955. Hydrogen Peroxide, p. 553–557. Reinhold Publishing Co., New York.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Boeriu, C., Dordick, J. & Klibanov, A. Enzymatic Reactions in Liquid and Solid Paraffins: Application for Enzyme–Based Temperature Abuse Sensors. Nat Biotechnol 4, 997–999 (1986).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing